Reading: Daniel 1-2
Summary: Following the death of good king Josiah, the fall of Judah was rapid. Pharaoh Neco killed Josiah in route to join Assyria in battle against Babylon. This battle at Carchemish essentially ends Assyrian dominance and begins Babylon’s. Judah places Josiah’s son Jehoahaz on the throne, but Necco, returning home from battle, replaces him with his brother Jehoiakim. Jehoiakim only lasts until Babylon shows up and replaces him with his son, Jehoiachin. Some of the “sons of Israel” are brought to Babylon to serve in the king’s court at this time. Among the number taken is young Daniel.
While Jehoiachin and finally Zedekiah finish out Judah’s time as her last kings, Daniel is coming into prominence in Babylon as a notable Hebrew youth. His interpretation of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream serves as a great prophecy of God’s coming kingdom.
Should I Change My Mind?
“Most folks are about as happy as they make up their mind to be.”
That is supposed to be something Abraham Lincoln said. It speaks as much to one’s mindset as it does to happiness. Yes, happiness is a choice, as one’s state of mind has a far greater bearing on realities than do actual circumstances or other outside influences.
Of Daniel we read, “But Daniel made up his mind that he would not defile himself…” (Dan. 1:8). Of Peter, Jesus said his mind was set on man’s interests rather than God’s (Matt. 16:24). Similarly, a mind set on things above as opposed to things on earth is to be characteristic of one “raised with Christ” (Col. 3:2). And a renewed mind is the means by which spiritual transformation transpires (Rom. 12:2).
Several questions seem appropriate here:
Have you determined to follow Jesus?
Is your mind made up to live a “self-controlled, upright, and godly” life (Titus2:12)?
By what conscious means is your mind being renewed and your life transformed?
What kind of space are you allowing in your ongoing thought processes for spiritual, God-centered ideas and truths?
If your spiritual life is weak, somehow lacking, or unsatisfactory it could well be that the very first step in the other direction is to change your mind.